There was a three percent chance our baby would be born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Three percent. That number is amazing to me. Doctors and researchers cannot determine what causes HLHS, however, they know it happens within the first eight weeks of development. If a baby’s heart does not develop correctly during those eight weeks, the heart is unlikely to fully develop the remaining gestation. Three percent. no matter how many times I say or write it, it is phenomenal to me.
I have come to terms with my magnetism to all things nerd and science over the last few years. A friend used to tell me I reminded them of Lisa Simpson – the comparison was lost on me until about three years ago. Now, I totally relate to her rule following, scholastic toting nerdiness. That percentage makes me want to get whatever degree/degrees necessary to research why this type of congenital defect occurs. To me, there has to be a reason, there has to be a common thread in mother’s; genetics or family history. Unfortunately, for our team, I can’t answer yes to any questions that could raise an eyebrow of connectivity. They will do genetic testing on Birdie once she’s born, looking to see if there are any chromosomal inconsistencies, but that’s really the only thing they look for at this point.
On the other side of that inconceivable three percent, is pride. Pride in our little girl. She is 3% of a population, one of fighters and unique individuals going through life on half of what the other 97 percent have. I haven’t met her yet, but she’s already making waves and living life her own way. I love that. I’m inspired by that. It’s an autonomy she will always have. We have the distinct privilege of watching her grow up and defy odds every single day. We look forward to seeing how she carries that, how we as parents can cultivate a humility and grace, yet encourage her to inspire herself and others. What an honor to be her mom and dad – I certainly hope we can keep up with her!